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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

Sacramento joins growing list of US cities calling for collaboration with Cuba

"The people of Sacramento would benefit from Cuban biotechnical, medical, and public health expertise in combating the COVID-19 pandemic."

The Sacramento City Council has joined a growing number of American cities and state legislatures that have called for the easing or elimination of the economic blockade against Cuba.


It reads:

WHEREAS, As of September 2020, the United States has the highest number of Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases and deaths in the world — 6.93 million infected, with deaths exceeding 200,000. These cases and deaths fall disproportionately on Black and Latinx communities, seniors, and are increasing in youth; and
WHEREAS, to confront the COVID-19 crisis, now is the time for international cooperation and solidarity. Sacramento is home to many prestigious medical institutions, organizations, and businesses, all capable of providing leadership to the country in medical research, treatment, and cooperation; and
WHEREAS, Cuba has a long history of providing international medical aid to other countries with its medical personnel directly involved in the fight against COVID-19 as members of the specially trained Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade against Disasters and Serious Epidemics. The Medical Brigade distinguished itself in the fight against the Ebola epidemic in West Africa and stepped forward to assist in many epidemics around the world including dengue fever, REV, swine flu, and hepatitis; and
WHEREAS, in 2005, the World Health Organization (WHO) recognized Cuba's medical system as a worldwide leader in biotechnology, making significant contributions to the international medical field; and
WHEREAS, the U.S. blockade of Cuba has severely restricted collaboration on scientific and medical research. The people of Sacramento would benefit from Cuban biotechnical, medical, and public health expertise in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Council of the City of Sacramento, that we urge the U.S. Congress and the President to lift restrictions on access to Cuban medical expertise to more effectively combat the COVID-19 pandemic by suspending travel sanctions against Cuba; cease ongoing measures deterring Cuba from importing medical equipment and medicines; and cease attempts to prevent other countries from accepting Cuban medical brigades and assistance.
ISSUED: This 10th day of November 2020

Similar resolutions or resolutions calling for a complete end to the blockade have been adopted in Oakland, Cleveland, San Francisco, Seattle, Detroit, and by the Massachusetts and Minnesota state legislatures, among other places.

The US blockade and economic embargo against Cuba has been repeatedly denounced by the overwhelming majority of delegations at the United Nations and is illegal under international law. According to Cuba the blockade cost the Cuban economy $5.57 billion between April, 2019 and March, 2020.

This year an international campaign to see the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the Henry Reeve International Medical Brigades gained considerable momentum.


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